Crews work through night to clear snowy roads

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Street crews worked through the night across the Tri-State to clear snow that fell for several hours Friday before stopping about midnight.

Cincinnati city officials said 78 drivers are working 12-hour shifts to clear some 3,100 miles of roads.

They started treating roads at 7 a.m. Friday, continued treating and clearing streets overnight and began another long day at 7 a.m. Saturday.

The city is stocked up with about 25,500 tons of salt and 73,000 gallons of brine.

Crews are still working to clear main streets Saturday morning as they also start on residential ones, said Jarrod Bolden, superintendent of the city's traffic and roads department.

Main routes are passable, he said, but "there are still some ones out there that still need some work. There's a lot of places you can get around. It will be a continued effort for us."

Temperatures also are slowing and challenging their work, he noted.

The morning low dropped into the teens early Saturday with subzero and single digit wind chills.

"We are still out here dealing with a lot of ice underneath the snow and anywhere there's been cars that traveled on it, it's compacted it even more," he said. "This morning we will be battling the temperature, of course. It's about 14 degrees and it's not supposed to get too far above 20 degrees. There's not a lot of sun. We will continue to try to open up the main thoroughfares and move to our residential streets and try to get a path through there as well."

Hamilton County crews also are treating and clearing streets early Saturday after briefly stopping overnight due to workplace regulations, said Ted Hubbard, the county engineer.

They are clocking in 16 hour shifts, resting for four hours and then going back out for another 16 hours.

"They were out all night. They've been working pretty hard," Hubbard said. ""You have to be careful. There is black ice out there. The temperature dropped. There will be some refreezing out there, but we should be in pretty good shape.

"As far as the roads are concerned, they are clear. You have clear paths. In low-volume areas, you are going to see some snow-covered roads but once traffic works in and gets the mechanical energy going, it will break up. I will advise everyone to be careful."

The county didn't pre-treat the roads, but as soon as the rain switched over to snow county crews got to work, he said.

"Pre-treating is not as big of an issue as it is in some communities because we have 11 domes strategically placed all over the county. We can actually get out and can treat quickly and refill quickly," Hubbard said Friday.

Crews said clearing the snow it isn't always an easy task when other drivers slow them down.

"Try to stay out of our way. Let us do our job so everybody can get to where they need to be," said Mike Smith, a driver for Cincinnati's Dept. of Public Services.

"Be careful you never know what the conditions are going to be. You can hit black ice. You can have all kinds of problems," said Hubbard.

Driver said Friday night they were seeing roads freeze and several drivers having a tough time on the roads.

Bridges and overpasses are the worst areas.

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